More Than Just the Disease by Bernard MacLaverty Essay

More Than Just the Disease by Bernard MacLaverty Essay

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More than just the disease by Bernard MacLaverty

‘More than just the disease’ by Bernard MacLaverty, focuses on a young
boy, Neil who has a skin condition called psoriasis. This disease
makes Neil feel insecure and his mother’s attitude towards him also
does not help, she is almost ashamed of her sons condition and this
makes Neil feel that he has hide the fact that he has psoriasis. Neil
feels the pressure when he goes to stay with his friend Michael, and
his family, and faces situations where people may find out about his
condition. These experiences help mature and develop Neil as a
character and help him face up to his psoriasis.

At the beginning of the story, MacLaverty establishes how dependent
Neil is of his mother. When Neil is unpacking his case he hears his
mothers voice.

“Be tidy at all times, the no one can surprise you”

We see here, that Neil’s mother has a huge influence on him and the
writer uses italics to show the reoccurring voice inside Neil’s head.
MacLaverti also tries to put the point across that Neil sees the world
through his mother’s eyes and he has to seek his mum’s advice on
everything he does. As Neil is from a working lower-class family, he
feels self-conscience around his friend’s upper middle-class family as
he feels he cannot talk to them about his condition. Neil’s mother’s
attitude towards his psoriasis has also had an effect on Neil and has
made him feel he has to be secretive about his disease. Once his
psoriasis has crept passed his collar line that his mum kept him off
school. That perhaps suggests that not only is Neil ashamed of his
psoriasis, but his mother is also and she too would prefer it if no
one knew about his condition. In a way, she has transferred...

... middle of paper ...

...ymbolism of Neil’s life and the sea
come into place as Neil stays in the shallows of the water, so too are
the shallow steps he has taken into life. But MacLaverty makes us
establish that this is the first time Neil has ever showed any of his
body and therefore we should take an understanding point of view that
at least it is a start for him. Again, a contrast with Michael is
developed, as he is swimming into the deep end, and MacLaverty also
makes this represent his life as he is fully stepped into it, is
independent of him.

Therefore, MacLaverty starts with a totally nieve, easily influenced
character of Neil and transforms him into a more matured, at ease with
himself character. The story left me feeling hope for the character of
Neil that hopefully he will one day fully step into life and not care
about how people will judge him, upon his psoriasis.

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